Southern Manufacturing & Electronics returns to Farnborough from 11 to 13 February 2020. As in previous years, the 2020 event will host an impressively diverse exhibitor list encompassing a wide array of engineering activities, from high-tech machine tools and automation to components and subcontract services. Firms from across the UK will be participating, together with a substantial variety of exhibitors from across Europe, Asia and the Far East.
As an all-encompassing market for machine building components, sub-assemblies and specialist engineering services, Southern Manufacturing & Electronics is arguably unmatched by any other event in the UK's annual exhibition calendar. Once again in 2020, the organisers are expecting the 20,000m2 Farnborough International Exhibition Centre to be at full capacity, and are confident of exceeding 2019's record-breaking attendance that was close to 9000 people. Due to the huge variety of different kinds of components represented under one roof, it is unquestionably a great show to tackle multiple procurement challenges in a tremendously efficient manner.
Machine building components
The range of system components on show is simply vast and covers everything from motion control and power transmission to power supplies and cabling systems. Some of the better known vendors returning for 2020 include igus UK, with its huge range of polymer bearings and machine accessories, and motion specialist Hepco, which will be demonstrating its GFX Hepco Guidance for Beckhoff XTS (eXtended Transport System). This utilises Hepco's PRT2 and 1-Trak guidance systems to work with Beckhoff's XTS circuit linear system to meet the needs of higher-duty XTS applications where motion profiles and long-term durability requirements are particularly demanding.
Those interested in hydraulic and pneumatic components will not be disappointed. CEJN UK offers quick-connect products for all types of media, from compressed air to hydraulics, ultra-high-pressure hydraulics and more. Lee Products Ltd will be exhibiting all three ranges of its fluid control components: Microhydraulic, Industrial Microhydraulic (IMH) and its Electro-Fluidic System of miniature chemically-inert, solenoid valves and pumps for medical and scientific instruments.
Another well-known name returning for 2020 is BCAS, the UK trade body for suppliers of compressed air and vacuum systems, and a representative for a number of manufacturers including CompAir, Hydrovane and Elmo Rietschle. KNF Neuberger designs and manufactures high-quality OEM vacuum pumps, air compressors, and liquid/metering/dosing pumps. All of its pumps are 100 per cent oil-free and designed for the quiet, reliable and efficient transfer of air, gases and liquids. In addition to its standard range, it offers customer-specific systems and is able to tailor its pumps to suit individual requirements. Rowse will be demonstrating the Festo MSE6 range of intelligent energy efficiency modules, used to continually measure, monitor and control the air supply in compressed air systems.
Materials and processes
The advance of new technologies into machine building applications, particularly in the areas of additive manufacturing and advanced plastics, is increasingly evident at Southern 2020. New X-ray and metal-detectable PTFE plastics by Röchling Plastics to be demonstrated at this year’s show have been specially formulated to be quickly and easily found with conventional detection equipment, and so are excellent for sealing elements, scrapers, nozzles, supporting plates, guides and conveying elements in food and pharmaceutical production lines.
Southern Manufacturing 2020 also provides plenty of examples of fast and affordable additive manufacturing hardware, capable of producing cost-effective, functional components for custom-built machines. New products being presented by Laser Lines this year include the XM200C metal powder-bed fusion 3D printer from Xact Metal. The XM200C is a compact and affordable system that can produce quality metal parts from a variety of metal powders at a low cost. Also demonstrated will be the new Method 3D printer from MakerBot that combines the speed and accuracy of an industrial 3D printer with the space-saving design of a desktop unit.
Sensors and enclosures
Southern Manufacturing 2020 will feature a host of new sensor products for applications in automation and remote sensing. RDP Electronics will be showing two new products. Its CANbus LVDT combines the benefits of absolute, high-repeatability, robust LVDT technology with efficient modern CAN interface protocols. The R360D Rotary Position Sensor uses contactless magnetoresistive sensing to provide a conditioned 4-20mA output over a full 360deg of shaft rotation. RF Solutions will be displaying a new range of LoRa (long range) radio modules and a new range of off-the-shelf products.
The Lambda 62 RF module will be showcased. This 868/915Mhz LoRa transceiver is a cost-effective radio module featuring Semtech SX1262 LoRa for a range of over 20km. BT2000 will be launching numerous new products, including PCTEL performance critical antennas, Lantronix GNSS/GPS receivers, Memsic thermal, acceleration and AMR magnetometer ICs and Aceinna sensors.
Other hardware likely to be of considerable interest to machine builders includes enclosures from the likes of CamdenBoss, GSM Valtech and Hitaltech. Several designs of high-performance sealed enclosures, including the IP68 1557 desktop or wall mounting family, will be exhibited for the first time in the UK by Hammond Manufacturing. Other recently introduced products include the 1554 and 1555 IP68 models and the 1550 and 1590 die-cast enclosures for EMC and sealing up to IP67. All are available in a wide number of standard sizes.
Subcontract services for machine builders
Southern Manufacturing is also a very important showcase for subcontract service providers, with every kind of expertise on offer, from design to wiring, box build and EMC testing. Wiring specialist IEW will be showcasing its higher-level box builds, power boxes and PLC controllers. The firm has been developing relationships with software developers in the PLC industry to provide a total solution for PLC hardware and integration. iDaC Solutions provides high-performance data and control cabling systems for industrial environments and enterprise networks. Its range includes screened structured cabling system and fibre optics, industrial grade enclosures, modular power distribution systems, control and robotics cabling, and modular containerised data centres.
Easy access and free parking
One final point to make is that the show's modern venue makes it refreshingly easy to access compared to many other UK venues.
Farnborough International Conference and Exhibition Centre offers free car parking for 3500 vehicles and is well-served by road and public transport links. A regular free shuttle bus service operates from both of Farnborough's mainline railway stations directly to the exhibition. The venue itself provides a high standard of facilities, including a complimentary WiFi service in the foyer area as well as high-quality catering outlets.
Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2020 opens from 11 to 13 February. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge. More information and tickets are available from www.industrysouth.co.uk.